Yasmin Rashid inaugurates BSL-3 Lab at IPH

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Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid inaugurated the Bio-Safety Level-3 Laboratory at the Institute of Public Health here on Wednesday.
Present on the occasion were World Health Organization Country Chief Dr Palitha Gunarathna Mahipala, Lt-Gen Khalid Maqbool, IPH Dean Dr Zarfishan Tahir, Professor Suhail Chughtai and members board of management. The minister took a round of the laboratory and Dr Zarfishan tahir briefed the minister about the facilities. Dr Yasmin said, “I greatly appreciate the IPH team especially Dr Zafishan Tahir for putting up great efforts and making the lab functional.
The government is trying to scale up the testing capabilities and all institutions must play their role. The IPH is in the frontline in this battle. According to guidelines of the WHO, we are increasing testing capacity in Punjab. In the current month, many BSL-3 laboratories have been made functional in districts.”
The minister further said, “In Punjab the highest number of Covid-19 patients is in Lahore. Our quarantine centers can house 28,000 patients. As soon as the pandemic reached here, we immediately opened corona centers at Expo Center, PKLI and Mayo Hospital.
Ganga Ram has been reserved for pregnant mothers suffering from corona. The facilities in the hospitals have been enhanced to deal with the Pandemic. Lockdown was enforced to stop the transmission of the virus. People are requested to stay at homes and restrict movement.
Timely steps helped us control the disease which is why we have less mortality rate. Over 90% of patients losing their lives are in the above 50 age group. We also are grateful to the WHO for their support.”
The Minister said the government is taking steps to support the daily wage earner and laborers. She also said that smart sampling is being initiated in Punjab which will help assess the prevalence and its stage and scale. She hoped Pakistan will soon be able to control the spread of the disease. The Minister also paid rich tribute to healthcare staff working for corona patients.
Zarfishan Tahir expressed gratitude to the minister for her support and said that the lab was made functional within just 10 days and it has a capacity to perform 200 tests per day currently which can be scaled up to 1000.
Khalid Maqbool said that he salutes Dr Yasmin Rashid for working with such dedication on frontline on corona pandemic. He assured that the IPH team will continue to work for enhancing the testing capacity of the lab.
Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid received Personal Protective Equipment for health professionals from the United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA) at the Fatima Jinnah Medical University here on Wednesday. The minister also held a detailed meeting with WHO Country Chief Dr Palitha Gunarathna Mahipala and FJWU Vice Chancellor Professor Amir Zaman Khan.